Commercial Insurance Coverage for a Lawyer
As with any business, finding the right insurance is important to help protect your legal practice. Whether you are practicing alone or with a firm, there are unique risks that come with being a lawyer. Here are some types of insurance you should consider as a lawyer.
Professional Liability Insurance
What Does Professional Liability Cover?
Professional Liability, sometimes known as malpractice insurance or errors and omission coverage, is an important type of coverage for lawyers. This type of coverage helps protect you and your firm against suits where the client is claiming that you or your firm has made mistakes in your practice. This can include:
- Misfiled paperwork
- Late paperwork
- Failure to know the law
- Errors in planning or investigation
- Failure to get consent
- And more
As an attorney, you do your best to represent your clients, but there could be times where a mistake was made. Or perhaps your client thinks that you were negligent when you were not. In either case, if a client decides to sue, professional liability coverage can help protect you financially.
What Does Professional Liability NOT Cover?
Professional liability does not cover the following:
- Fraudulent, dishonest, or malicious acts
- Other services offered by businesses that your firm owns
- Bodily injury coverage
- Property damage
- Lawsuits between lawyers who are both parts of the insured law firm
- Claims where the lawyer or firm was aware there might be a claim but did not disclose before the policy took effect
How Does Professional Liability Work?
When an attorney faces a lawsuit for malpractice, professional liability cab help with some of the financial repercussions of that suit. Professional liability is a claims-made policy. This means that the insurance coverage is triggered when the claim is filed. For instance, if you worked on a case in 2018 and errors were made, but the client makes the claim in the year 2020, then your professional liability coverage from 2020 would be the one to take effect.
Business Owners Policy
Outside of professional liability, having a business owner’s policy is another way to help protect you as a lawyer. This is particularly important if you are a solo practitioner or have a small law firm. A BOP bundles coverages together and can often be less expensive than buying each coverage individually. Typically, a business owners policy includes:
- General liability – this helps cover bodily injury and property damage.
- Commercial property – this helps protect the property that your business owns.
- Business income – if your business is unable to operate due to property damage that is covered by your commercial property coverage, business income insurance helps provide coverage for the loss of income.
As businesses have adopted digital practices, having coverage for data breaches is increasingly important. Hackers and bad actors target small businesses to acquire personal information. Though you may already have systems in place to protect confidential data, a data breach can still happen. Data breach insurance helps cover the costs associated with handling the data breach, including:
- Notifying clients
- Providing credit monitoring
- Hiring technical consultants
- Hiring PR professionals
- And more
Umbrella insurance is designed to help extend coverage limits for your existing policies. This coverage can be helpful if you are worried that you may face a large lawsuit that will surpass your coverage limits. If you have a small firm with other employees, having this type of coverage can give you some peace of mind when accidents do occur.
Talk to your agent about the types of coverage you need as an attorney. Every situation is different and the type of coverage you need may depend on the area you practice in. Your insurance agent can help you figure out the right coverage for your legal practice. Give Encharter a call today with any questions or concerns you have around insurance for lawyers!